Feds pursue mortgage fraud in NC
Posted July 10, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Federal authorities disclosed Wednesday criminal charges against a number of Triangle-area real estate professionals, attorneys and mortgage brokers in connection with various mortgage fraud investigations.
The U.S. Marshals Service has seized a number of foreclosed properties across the region as part of the investigations, and authorities said they continue to seek out possible victims of the alleged fraud.
"The American people need to be assured that their government is working to ensure integrity in the financial services and housing industries and that those involved in criminal activities that undermine that integrity will be held accountable,” Jon Rymer, inspector general for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, said in a statement.
Mortgage broker Dexter Tirrell Jones, 42 of Raleigh, developer Ricky Lamont Congleton, 43, of Zebulon, closing attorney Phillip Graham Rose, 42 of Raleigh, developer Vincent Maldini, 46, of Seabright, N.J., developer Johnny Ray Peele, 43, of Wake Forest, Joseph Carl Hollis, 35, of Raleigh, developer Dwayne Thomas Hall, 49, of Wake Forest, and former real estate broker Treshell Mayo Herndon, 39, of Raleigh, have been charged with conspiracy to commit bank and wire or mail fraud.
Authorities allege the group used phony purchases of properties through "straw buyers" to secure mortgage loan disbursements exceeding $20 million and $5 million in loan proceeds between 2003 and 2009. The group is accused of using the buyers' credit to obtain the loans in exchange for a kickback and a promise that rental income from the properties would pay the mortgages and the buyers would never pay a cent.
Losses on the properties, which fell into foreclosure when the housing market collapsed in 2008 and mortgage payments on the properties ceased, exceed $1 million, authorities said.
Rose, Jones, Congleton and Maldini have already pleaded guilty in the case and are awaiting sentencing, authorities said. The others are expected to appear in court in the coming weeks.
In a separate but similar scheme, real estate developers David Lewis Johnson, 39 of Cary, and Arthur Lee Barnes Jr., 46 of Rocky Mount, real estate agent Mark Tkac, 47, of Raleigh, former mortgage broker Mark Thomas Bowe, 56, of Jonesboro, Ga., and closing attorney Jeffery Scott Taggart, 48, of Winterville, were charged with conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud. Bowe also was charged with bank fraud, wire fraud and making false statements to federally insured financial institutions, while Taggart also was charged with filing a false income tax return.
Lilliana Delia Deiac, 43, of Jamaica, N.Y., was charged with making false statements to a federally insured financial institution and making false statements to the FBI.
Authorities allege that the group used straw buyers to purchase various properties that are now in default or foreclosure, resulting in millions of dollars in losses for lenders.
Taggart has been sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the scheme, while Johnson, Barnes and Tkac have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Cases against Bowe and Deiac are pending.
In a third investigation, former Raleigh developer James Thomas Webb, 52, of Miami, pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud and is expected to be sentenced next month.
Authorities said Webb carried out his fraudulent activities on investors in addition to financial institutions, convincing investors that he would use their money to purchase, renovate, and resell properties to first-time home buyers in various states, including North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. Sale documents were doctored, and Webb used much of the money to finance a lavish lifestyle for himself, authorities said.
Former closing attorney Amy Robinson, 35, of Rolesville, former real estate appraiser Jackie Gale Weaver, 55, of West Hamlin, W.Va., and former national appraisal instructor Larry Max McDaniel, 71, of Vienna, W.Va., have all pleaded guilty to their roles in Webb's scheme and are awaiting sentencing.